Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Lemora: A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural

Lucky me! A local video rental store broke street date - by over a week - on Lemora: A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural. It's one of those movies that I'd heard a lot about over the years, but admit I'd never seen.

It stars a very young - although not thirteen, as her character is - Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith as the daughter of a gangster who is being brought up by a minister, played by director Richard Blackburn. The story is told very much as a fairy tale with her running off to see her father to forgive him before he dies and ending up under the control of the evil Lemora.

The movie unfolds in a very slow and careful way, so I hesitate to give away any more of the plot.

Like a weird hybrid of The Brothers Grimm (try reading The Juniper Tree as a simple example of what I'm talking about), Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft (especially interesting to me, because it's an unusual combination but very similar to the influences for my screenplay, The Hunt), the story is much more about the mood and how the people react to what happens than it is about anything specific that happens. In that way, it manages a very European feel, that I'm sure didn't do it any favors at the box office.

Synapse Films has done its usual spectacular job here. The movie looks sharp and colorful, really bringing out the tone of fairy tale and allowing all of the actions to have a clarity that they apparently haven't had in many years. The sound is also wonderfully clear and is a strong addition to the haunting quality the film manages.

This is a movie I hope to be able to buy soon. It deserves a place next to The Wicker Man, Martin, Suspiria, etc. The kind of art house horror films that only a few people dig, but I especially love more than anything.

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